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Turkish election board disqualifies pro-Kurdish mayors in southeast

While Turkey awaits an official decision in the Istanbul mayor's race, electoral authorities void HDP victories in Diyarbakir and elsewhere in the southeast.
Supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) celebrate municipal elections results in Diyarbakir, Turkey, March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar - RC19430E56D0

ANKARA, Turkey — Two weeks after they voted, Turks are still waiting to know whom the Supreme Electoral Council will declare to be the mayor of Istanbul. Not a day passes without the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) finding a reason to discredit the provisional result, which favors the opposition by a narrow margin. Some days the council orders a recount in a certain district; other days it dismisses the objection.

At the opposite end of Turkey, a different process is occurring. In Diyarbakir and other southeastern provinces, the results are not disputed. Everybody knows who won. But the government is leaning heavily on the electoral council to refuse to give the winners their certificate of electoral victory.

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